For three weeks running, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and its neighbourhoods have been plunged into total darkness following the reported damaging of major electricity installments around Damboa town by Boko Haram terrorists, security sources said.
For about 21 days now, the entire city of Maiduguri has not enjoyed electricity coming from the national grid.
Many residents of Maiduguri who were unaware of the development thought the power outage may have been caused by some ongoing upgrade of the 33KVA lines which the minister of state for power, Hon. Muhammed Wakil, said would be carried out to boost supply to the state.
But recent findings revealed that the suspected situation was not so but was as a result of an attack on major installations of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
A military person who spoke to LEADERSHIIP in Maiduguri confirmed that the Boko Haram insurgents had detonated bombs that affected the high-tension installations around Damboa and has since left the about two million residents of Maiduguri in total blackout.
Many residents now have to depend on power plants while major business outfits and even government offices depend solely on generators throughout the days.
The power outage has since caused residents some serious economic hardship as most businesses that depend on electricity now hike the prices of their products.
Many households that used to depend on the few hours of electricity supply from the national grid to produce their iced blocks needed for the Ramadan fasting period now have to buy from hawkers at expensive prices.
“We now buy iced sachet water for N25 but before it used to be sold for N10 each or, in some cases, two sachets of iced block for N15,” said Bashir Mustapha, a resident of Maiduguri.
An official of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, who spoke off the record because he was not allowed to speak on such matter, confirmed the development to LEADERSHIP even as he said it may take some time before power would be restored due to the recent takeover of Damboa area by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Boko Haram has, in the past three years, vandalized public infrastructure like telecommunication masts that had hitherto cut off various parts of Borno State from the rest of the word. The group had also used bombs and fire to destroy schools, hospitals, police offices, barracks and even cratering of roads. Their most recent attack on public infrastructure was the bombing of an ultra-modern drilling rig procured by Borno State at the cost of over N300 million at the site where it was mobilized to drill water for rural dwellers of the northern part of Borno State.